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Unformatted text preview: 1 AMERICAN STATE PAPERS. ' PUBLIC LANDS. ____________._ lst Caucuses] N0. 1. [lst SESSION. VIRGINIA MILITARY BOUNTY LANDS. oomuunrcxrsn To THE HOUSE or REPRESENTATIVES, JULY 31, 1789. Mr. W'im'a, from the committee to whom it was referred to examine into the measures taken by Congress and the State of Vir 'nia, respecting the lands reserved for the use of the officers and soldiers of the State, on conti— nental and tate establishments. in the cession made by the said State to the United States of the territory northwest of the Ohio river, made the following report: THAT the Le islature of Virginia, by their act of the 2d of January, 1781, resolved‘ that they would_yield to the Con ress of the nited States, for the benefit of the said States, all right, title, and claim, which the said Common- wea th had to the northwest of the river Ohio, upon condition (among others in the said act expressed) that. in case the quantity of ood lands on the southeast Side of the Ohio, upon the waters of Cumberland river, and’between the Green river an Tennessee river, which have been reserved by law for the Virginia troops upon continental esta— blishment, should, from the North Carolina line, bearing in further u on the Cumberland lands than was expected. grove insufficient for the legal bounties, the deficiences should be ma e up to the troops in good lands, to be laid ofl‘ etween the rivers Seioto and Little Miami, on the northwest side of the river Ohio, in such proportions as have been enga ed to them by the laws of Virginia. That ongress, byt eir act of the 13th of September, 1783, agreed to accept the said cession, on the condition above mentioned._ That the Legislature of Virginia, by their act of the 20th of October, 1783, authorized their delegates in Con- gress to convey, transfer, and aSSign to the United States, the right, title, and claim, of the said State, to the lands Wlthln her charter, and northwest of the river Ohio, on the terms agreed to by Congress, including the above men- tioned condition, which conveyance the said dele tes accordinsly made. That, on the 17th ofJuIy,'l788,Congress reso ved that the §tate of Virginia be informed that Congress consider all. locations _and surveys which shall be made by, or on account of, the said troops, on the said lands between the Scioto and Little Miami, before the said deficiency, if any, on the southeast side of the Ohio shall be ascertained and stated to congress, invalid, and that the Executive of the State of Virginia be requested to inform Con ress whether there has been any deficiency of good lands, reserved by the laws of that State, on the southeast side 0 the Ohio, for the Virginia troo s upon continental establishment; and if there has been any deficiency, what is the amount; and, also, what c ecks have been provided by the said State to prevent the said troops taking up more lands than are actuallydue to them; in order that measures may immediately be taken for laying off, for the benefit of such troops, a sufficient quantity of good land between the rivers Scioto and Little Miami, and that Congress mayrbe prepared to dispose.of_the remaining land between those rivers, for the general benefit of the Union. hat the Council of Virginia, on the 4th of August, 1788, took the said resolutions into consideration, and thereupon advued that the acting superintendent, appointed by virtue of an act of Assembly, entitled “ An act for surveyingthe lands given by law to the oflicers and soldiers on continental and State establishments, and for other pur oses do State to that Board the uantity of good lands on the southeast side of the Ohio; whether all the fin Ian lswel‘e loclted or surveyed be ore they'proceeded to _locate on the northwest side of the Ohio; how much :5 $99", QCated 01‘ surveyed on the southeast Side for the Virginia troops on State establishment; how much for It 0 ,ll‘gmla troops 0'1 he southeast Slde; what. is the real dehciency 0t good lands on the southeast side; what 00530? 0|“ Slll'YeYS IIin been made for the Virginia troops on continental establishment, on the northwest side; an wiat uantity on themsoiitheast Side is allotted to the continental and State lines, by the agreement of their Esmgvfid mutations, on the 17th of December,_ 1783; that an answer be written to Congress, in the words by $2231 efingfifiggffl‘nfgfiggidi andtbthat capitehs ot the saifdtgdvig: shall be immediately despatched, by express, to .. _ ,_eerw1 ecOieso ' ' ~u - “Vice hrnsqntted tofiheda “5 tea of the State pn (longest-138's vementioned reso tion, and that a copy of that dent“ (‘32sz lame 0{ Whlcll ad _ the Governor of _Virginia, on the said 4th of August, 1788, wrote to the Presi- T3 603383 adetters 0f Whl in attested _copy is produced. [No. 1.} ‘1 as“, 239'?”- {53 tm§mltted hthe- superintendents, before mentioned, copies of the said resolution of Con- spmdw cc [VJ-$3 g 1 0mm“, from “him he received a letter, dated 17th November, 1788, the original of which is . t, on the 181 If September. "Bevkigress resolved that the Executive of the State of Vi 'nia be i . . , nformed that not of Congas at 17th 1-,] lily, 1 ,gwaanot meant, nor is it to be interpreted, to intfingerga‘ny stipulation in 6 PUBLIC LANDS. [1789. the cession made by Virginia to the United States; and that it is not the intention of Congress to take any further measures, at present, respectingthe lands between the Scioto and Little Miami, but to allow a reasonable time for the returns mentioned in the act of Congress aforesaid 5 and for all other measures which may be regulSIte f0? 3590?- tainmg and carrying into effect. on fair and liberal principles, the intention of the parties to the said act of cession. That the Legislature of Vir 'nia, on the 30th of December, 1788, resolved, that the rotest ol the _Execut1ve a _ inst the right of the United tates to interfere in the locations and surveys of the o _cers and soldiers of the irginia line on continental establishment, as expressed in the letter of the said Executive to the PreSIdent of COHgFCSS, 0f the 4th Of August, 1788. ought to be ap roved, as containing the sense of the General Assembly upon the true construction of the. terms of cession of t e Western territory by this Commonwealth to the United States, and that the other ‘proceedings of ‘the said Executive upon that subject ought also to be approved. That the Governor of irginia, in a letter dated 6th January, 1789, transmitted to the delegates in Congress for the State of Virginia, the letter from the superintendents before mentioned; also, a certificate [min I‘. Meriwether, dated 30th December, 1788, stating that certificates for land warrants had issued to_the late officers and soldiers of the Virginia line, on continental establishment. for two millions eight hundred and Sixty thousand acres, and to the officers and soldiers of the State line and navy, for one million one hundred and seven thousand seven hundred and seventy-four acres. [No. 3.] No.1. 0 S RICHMOND, flugust 4th, 1788. in: Our desire to comply with the request of Congress induces us to hasten an answer to their act of the 17th ultimo, without waiting for that full, official information which we shall immediately endeavor to procure, and shall transmit as soon as it may be received. We therefore trust that no definitive measures may beflpursoed by your hgnlilirable body, with respect to the lands between the Scioto and Little Miami, until that full 0 Clal information 5 a arrive. But, sir, we are compelled to protest, that nothing contained in this communication, made at the _s ecial instance of Congress, is to be interpreted into an acquiescence ol‘Virginia under that resolution, which invali ates locations anti surveys between those two rivers, or into an abandonment or diminution of rights EXlStlng under any act of this Commonwealth; we are compelled thus to protest,because we have grounds for believmg, that llllS resolution Will ex- cite an alarm hi0th injurious to the tranquillity of the Union, as those adventurers who will be affected by it have al- read incurred fieavy toil and expense. . _ _ \ e do not yet possess any formal documents, upon which we can positively assert that there is a defiCiency of good land on the southeast Side of the Ohio. But we are thoroughly persuaded, from the number of acres for which warrants have already issued, that a deficiency, great indeed, does exist. For ascertaining the fact we shall immediately despatch an express to the superintendents appointed, under the authority of law, to_ regulate the surveys for the benefit of the Virginia troops. Congress will, doubtless, allow a sufficient time for obtaining an answer from persons at so great a distance as the neighborhood of the Mississippi or Ohio. The law to which we have now alluded is entitled “ An act for surveying the land given by law to the olii- cers and soldiers on continental and State establishments, and for other purposes.” It was passed at the same session with another act, under which the United States succeed to the rights of Virginia, to the territory north- west of the Ohio, and which is entitled “ An act to authorize the delegates of the State in Congress to convey to the United States, in Congress assembled, all the right ofthis Commonwealth to the territor northwestward of the river Ohio;” and is prior in order. Congress, then, have accepted our cession, subject to the operation of the first mentioned law; a part of the fourth clause in which runs in these words: “ find be it further enacted, That the surveyors, under the direction of the superintendents, and the claimants having a right to survey from the priority of their numbers, shall proceed, in the first place, to survey all the good lands, to be adjud ed of by the superinten- dentsin that tract of country lying on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, as set apart y law for the said officers and soldiers; and then proceed. in the like manner, to survey on the northwest side of the river Ohio, between the rive‘rs Scigto and the Little Miami, until the deficiency of all military bounties in lands shall be fully and amply ma e up. The superintendents and principal surveyors, therefore, having adjudged all the good lands on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers to be exhausted, and having proceeded to locate on the northwest side of the Ohio, it would seem that Congress cannot annul their locations or surveys if any have been made in that district. The checks provided to prevent the troops taking up more lands than are actually due to them, will be found in the law, of which a copy is now sent. The summary of proceedings, according to that law, is as follows: The documents of the officer or soldier are submitted to Colonel Meriwether, (an officer appointed for this, and other military purposes) examined, and reported by him to the Governor, who certifies the claim of the party, if entitled to the bounty, to the land office, upon which certificate the register issues his warrant, directed to the principal surveyor of the lands set apart for military bounties, and makes a record of the warrant. The party then carries the warrant to the surveyor’s oflice, makes his location, and leaves the warrant with the surveyor, who has it registered, and filed away till the survey is made, when he returns it, with the survey, to the land office, where it is again examined with the record in the land office, and cancelled. The survey remains six months in the land office, and, if no better right is asserted within that time, by caveat is then carried into grant. I have the honor to be, EDM. RANDOLPH. The Honorable the PRESIDENT of Congress. P. S. The Honorable Delegates of Virginia will receive, by this mail, a printed copy of the laws referred to; and I have taken the liberty of requesting them to furnish Congress With the'laws herein referred to. No. 2. S . RICHMOND, November 17, 1788. m' We have received from the Executive a copy of a resolution of Congress, together with an order of council of the 4th of August last, requiring from the acting superintendents appointed by law for locating and surveying the lands allotted to the officers and soldiers of the late army and State navy, a report of the quantity of good lands on the southeast Slde of the Ohio. Whether all the good lands were located and surveyed, before they proceeded to locate on the northwest side of the Ohio? How much_ has been located and surveyed on the southeast side for the Virginia troops on State establishment? How much for the Virginia troops on continental establishment, on the southeast side? ' What locations and surveys have been made for the Virginia troops on continental establishment on thencrthwest Side? And what quantity on the southeast side is allotted to the continental and State lines by the agreement of their respective deputations on the 17th of December, 1783? ‘ Without an actual surve of the whole of the countr within the boundaries describe b the laws ' lands on thhe southeast side dire IOhio, incluidiiig that belifi'eenéhe Teiilnessee and the Md y reservm ascertain t e quanti y containe 1 crew, ort e_quantity a otte to eac of the lines b the a reement ab to; but from the best estimate we could make, it was adjudged that the whole countryycontaigned about siiiieiiiillli‘diicsi of acres, and the dwiding line agreed on left. as was estimated, about two millions five hundred thousand acres in that part allotted to the continental line, andabout three millions five hundred thousand to the State line which on our exploring it, was found to be far inferior in quality to what.was ex cted, from the description that had bben given of it 5 fully one third of it bein extenswe open barrens, which are arge tracts of land, without timber covered with a coarse sed e, and not more an one tenth fit for cultivation, and a great pro ortion of the wood lan’d moun- tainous, poor, an stony. It was estimated that not more than one third of the whore could be called good land. g the ississippi, it is impossib e to 1789.] CESSIONS FROM NEW’ YORK AND MASSACHUSETTS. 7 ' died and thi -three thousand three hundred and thirty-three and one third acres, or thereabouts; from which, ‘ siderably u ordii'ds of one hundred thousand acres is taken by the grant to William Henderson and company, at the mouth of web river,- and it appears from the return made y the surveyor for the continental line, that seven hundred and tirenty-four thousand forty-five and one thirdacres have been located on those lands, some part olt which have been located on lands of an inferior duality, by individuals,_on accountpt salts rings, or other natura advantages. And from our own observations, while en _ ed in the busmess, and from the est informationi we are well assured that the whole of the good Lands in that lstrlct are taken: from the. same estimation, 1t W11, appeél: that the uantity of good lands within the 'illotment to the State line would be one million one hundred and Sixty-Sis thousan six hundred and sixty-six and two third acres, or thereabouts, of which, as ap ars from the re rt 0f the depot surveyor of that line, ei ht hundred and Sixty-seven thousand SIX hundred an seventy-twp an two third acres ave been located, which eaves one hundred and ninety-eight thousand nine hundred and ninety-four acres remaining unlocated, which, from the amount of warrantSissued, Wlll be no more than suflicient to answer the whole of these claimS. Moreover, it is probable there Wlll be a great deficxency of good lands to the State lme, as near three hundred thousand of the lands between the Tennessee, partpf which were located by the superinten- dents, were covered wi 'treasury warrants, previous to that country being reserved to them by the Le slature in 1781, the right to which is now in dispute, de ending, as we are informed, before the High Court of tAppea s; and if it is decided in favor of the treasury claimants, t e deficiency Will. by so much, appear wantin g to the military claimants. We cannot undertake to determine what the defiCiency to the continental line may be, because we haye not been informed of the amount of the warrants issued from the register’s office; therefore _we can only say what is deficient on the warrants already lodged in the surveyor’s office. It appears .the report from the surveyor of the continen- tal line, that the amount of the warrants filed in his office is two mi lions seven hundred and Sixty—nine thousand and seventy-nine and one third acres, seven hundred and twenty-four thousand and forty-five and one third acres ot which are located on the southeast side of the Ohio, which leaves a defiCiency of two millions fort dive thousand and thirty-four acres; and we are well assured, that warrants, to a conSiderable amount, have issue from the register’s oflice, which have not been lod ed in the surveyor’s office. Our locations on the southeast Side ot the Ohio 'com- menced on or about the lst of ingust, 1784, from which time the oflice was [refit open, and the busmess continued until all the good lands in that country, within the continental boundary, who could _be found, were located and entered on, to the amount before stated ;and findingthat there would be no more _Wltllln the State boundary than suflicient to satisfy their claims, and a great probability of a defiCIency, the locations on the northwest snle com- menced by the directions of the superintendents on. the lst day of August, 1787; and it a pears by the report from the surveyor that one million three hundred and ninet -five thousand three hundred an eight-five and one third acres have since been located in that country: and we eg leave to observe that it is our opinion, from the extent of the area of the reserved lands between the Scioto and Little Miami, that there will be found a defiCIency of good lands there, to satisfy the claims now to be located. _ a ‘ We cannot close this address without observmg that, in transactin the whole of this busmess, we have endea- vored to do the strictest justice to the public, as well as the individua s for whom we were trustees; and notwith- standing the difliculties and dangers which .we have unavoidably encountered, we hope it will be found that we have discharged the trust with fi elity; and if it should be found that we have fallen short, it will be attributed to the difiiculties attendant on a business which we were obliged to pursue in a country far distant from any inhabit- ants, which none can rightly jud e of. but those who have experienced them. e have the honor to be, your most obedient humble servants, M. CARRINGTON, A. PARKER, R. ARCHER. . Superintemlentsfor the Continental Line. The Honorable BEVERLEY RANDOLPH, Esq. Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. No. 3. Earn this calculation the quantity of good lands within the part allotted to the continental line would be Eight _ Certificates for land warrants have issued to the late ofiicers and soldiers of the Virginia line, on continental esta- blishment, for - - - - - 2,860,000 acres And to the late officers and soldiers of the State line and navy, for - -- - 1,107,774 acres Total, - - - 3,967,774 acres. T. MERIWETHER. COUNCIL CHAMBER, December 30, I788. ...
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